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Facts About Fentanyl Addiction and MAT

Many people with opioid use disorder are addicted to fentanyl, the top cause of overdoses in America. MAT for fentanyl addiction can be more challenging than other substances due to the drug's potency. However, it is still a practical approach to managing opioid addiction, and alongside a treatment program or therapy can significantly improve a person's chances of achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Detoxing From Fentanyl

Detoxing from fentanyl is a challenging and potentially dangerous process. However, detox is often an essential part of starting the recovery process. This is true for Medication-Assisted Treatment as well. The length of time that a person needs to detoxify before starting, for example, the decisions about dosage, length of detox, and other treatments, are between an individual and their healthcare provider.

Usually, a person must be in moderate to severe withdrawal before starting Suboxone treatment. This is usually about 24-48 hours after their last use. (People who use long-acting opioids, such as patches or extended-release opioids, will have a more extended waiting period.)

If you want to detox from fentanyl, seeking medical assistance and support from a qualified healthcare provider is essential.

Addiction and Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid used to manage severe pain, such as the type caused by cancer or trauma, such as a car crash. It is a powerful drug, approximately 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is also a highly addictive opioid, and physical dependence can develop quickly, even with short-term use. Dependence occurs when the body adapts to the presence of the drug and needs it to function normally. For some people, this will happen even when they use a drug as the doctor recommends. For others, their use may escalate as they misuse it and take higher doses.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur when a person stops using. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, including anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, muscle aches, sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures. Detoxing from fentanyl should always be done under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider. Detox can be managed in an inpatient or outpatient setting and may involve medication to ease withdrawal symptoms.

Considerations For MAT and Fentanyl

The use of buprenorphine or methadone in MAT for fentanyl addiction may require higher doses or more extended periods of treatment than for other opioids. Additionally, because of its potency, some people may require higher doses of buprenorphine or methadone to effectively manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

In addition to medication-assisted detox, behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are essential to helping people with substance use disorders learn to thrive. Other methods, such as mindfulness, peer groups like AA, and one-on-one talk therapy, can also provide a solid foundation for recovery.

Relapse is a common risk during detox and recovery. A support system and engaging in ongoing treatment and counseling are all essential to help maintain sobriety.

Getting Help for Fentanyl Addiction

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for fentanyl can be more challenging than for some other substances due to the potency and rapid onset of fentanyl's effects. However, it is still an effective and commonly used approach for managing opioid addiction, including addiction to fentanyl.

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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

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